What’s better than the smell of hot mint tea in the morning? I’ll tell you: a cup of tea with a book in a quiet place, and the whole world can get lost.
I can’t remember how many times have I expressed my love that borders on passion for tea. Actually, this goes beyond the caffeine or the cups of sweet mint tea which I happen to find the best dessert in the world. It’s way deeper than that; and it goes back to a time I can’t even remember, but I’m often reminded with by my mom and my uncles.
I might have been 2 or 3 years old at the time. Whenever we slept over at my grandparents, I would wake up early and go knocking on my grandpa’s bedroom door. When he opened, I would say a word that I’d teasingly hear over and over many years later: “Yash”. Then my mom would wake up to find us in the kitchen, him sitting on a chair and I on the table, eating Ka3ek and Yash, or tea as some people would call it.
I don’t remember how that tea tasted, at least not consciously, but I do remember the best tea I’ve ever had. It was in Downtown Amman, we were at El-Sa7a El-Hashimiyyeh near the Roman amphitheater when a street vendor came back carrying a tea container on his back, and asked us if we wanted some. First we passed, but he kept insisting until I decided to have one, just to make him go. That would be the one cup of tea I would remember as the best tea I have ever tasted, and all the people who were with me would agree after being encouraged to try it too. I don’t know if it was the tea itself or the Downtown effect, but I still think it’s the tea.
The other memorable tea was the tea we used to have at my aunt’s porch. I would go to their house after university and we’d have tea with mint or Malliseh, along with dates. A setting that’s quite hard to come by now with some of the girls moving abroad and with the family growing and changing.
But when I talk about tea I have to talk about Mahmoud. Our office boy who makes award-winning tea. Not only it tastes good, but it can be a great consolation in time of distress. If you’re down, Mahmoud’s got your back, have a warm cup of tea!
Still, if I’m to choose one favorite kind of tea I’d say homemade Moroccan mint tea, nothing beats that.
I like it in the morning, I like it in the evening, I like it before I sleep, I like it when I feel sleepy, I like it when I’m sluggish, I like it when I’m alone, I like it when I’m with friends, I like it when I’m watching a movie, I like it when I’m reading, I like it breakfast, I like it with cake and I like to dunk anything that’s everything in it. I love it in all shapes and forms, and it loves me back.
P.S: Don’t fall for that “tea breaks down the iron in your blood” crap, it’s a myth.